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22nd Dec 2021

AFCON to go ahead despite Covid concerns

Callum Boyle

The Confederation of African Football president, Patrice Motsepe, confirmed the tournament will take place next month

The Africa Cup of Nations will go ahead as planned in Cameroon next month despite concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Patrice Motsepe, met with the Cameroon president Paul Biya to discuss plans for the tournament over fears of a coronavirus breakout due to the Omicron variant.

However an agreement was made that the delayed tournament – which was cancelled last summer due to the pandemic – will be played as Mostsepe confirmed he will be attending.

“I’m going to be here on January 7 and I’m coming to watch football,” he said, as reported by Sky Sports.

“I’m coming to watch on January 9 (the opening match between) Cameroon against Burkina Faso.

“I’ll also be around to see when the trophy is handed over.”

Earlier this month, members of the European Club Association admitted they had fears for the safety of players given the rising number of cases, but the CAF president revealed that strict measures would be in place to ensure the safety of those at the tournament.

He said: “We must always identify problems and challenges, and not shy away from them.

“We must have the confidence and the belief that we can overcome them.

“Nobody will be allowed into the stadium without a (negative) PCR test. We will have to protect the fans that are there. Of course, there will be concerns about fake tests going around, but we are dealing with those issues.

“We have to have confidence and belief in ourselves as Africans. And we have to have confidence and belief that we can host a very successful Nations Cup in Cameroon.”

The tournament is set to begin on 9 January with the final taking place on 6 February.

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